Prospective Houston Astros owner Jim Crane has said through a spokesperson that despite a report saying that he has met Commissioner for a second time face-to-face, that meeting did not happen. To add to that, there has been no confirmation that Crane did indeed meet with Selig with those very close to the situation, meaning the chances that the meeting did occur are virtually nil.
While Crane has met once with Selig, and those meetings were deemed to be “constructive” by both parties, until just prior to the Nov. 15-16 ownership meetings are held in Milwaukee, only Bud Selig is likely to know if the vote to approve Crane will be held. Peter Gammons of MLB Network and MLB.com reported via Twitter that Crane will be approved and the Astros will be moving to the American League to allow for expanded playoffs in 2013, although there is no confirmation of that yet occurring. The move to the American League is not the #1 issue for the league in terms of the vote being taken place to approve Crane.
As a matter of process, the owners would be notified approx. 10 days ahead of the quarterly meetings of the agenda, and whether the vote to approve Crane would be on the list of items to address. Prior to a vote by the league’s owners, two committees – the Executive and Ownership Committees – vote to approve an ownership transfer. Once that has occurred, 75 percent of the league's owners have to approve a sale; the final step in the process.
Approval by those committees doesn’t mean that the owners vote is nothing more than a formality. In 1999, Miles Prentice was approved by both committees before running into a 29-1 vote by the owners to delay action on the sale of the Kansas City Royals. Eventually, the sale wound up going to David Glass in April of 2000 for $96 million, even though Prentice had offered $120 million.
Bottom line is, it’s fair to say there’s a good chance that a vote to approve Crane could come in mid-Nov. What that outcome will be – especially with the churn swirling around him – is anybody’s guess.
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